Child contracts flesh-eating bacteria while swimming in Maryland bay

A concerned mother took to Facebook to warn others after her son contracted an often-fatal bacterial infection while swimming in a Maryland bay.

"I thought long and hard about sharing this, but a friend of mine said it would be a great PSA for everyone to see," Brittany Carey wrote on June 29 in a now viral post.

Carey's saga began when her young son went swimming off the coast of Ocean City last Sunday during a beach outing with his grandparents. The boy fell sick the next evening, developing "little spots" all over his body, according to his mother. 

"Tuesday morning there were open wounds developing but I had thought he was scratching them, making them worse," she explained. "Only to find when I picked him up Tuesday they were a lot bigger and a lot more."

Carey says she took her son to the hospital but was initially given antibiotics that made the boy's condition worse. 

On Thursday, doctors diagnosed Carey's son with Vibrio vulnificus, a bacterium that enters the body through either a break in the skin or consumption of raw or under-cooked seafood and causes necrotizing fasciitis, often referred to as a flesh-eating disease, as it quickly kills the body's soft tissue.

Carey says her son received prompt and apparently successful treatment for the life-threatening infection, adding that his pediatrician is "really happy" with how his wounds are healing.

"Please be careful out there guys and if you start seeing wounds such as these please get somewhere fast!" she ended her post.

Sadly, many people infected by flesh-eating bacteria are not as lucky as Carey's son. Just last week, Lynn Fleming, a 77-year-old Florida woman, died from a flesh-eating bacteria she contracted at a popular Florida beach.

Her family said up until the day before her death, "you would never know that anything was wrong."

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